The diner and coffee shop has a great buzz to it. On the day I went there for lunch, a group of tourists outside were having a quick lunch between dives, while the inside had a number of local hospitality industry types hiding out and having a late breakfast. It would seem Tim Buc Tuu is a not-so-well-kept secret, at least within the industry, with the all day breakfast finding favour with those who don’t venture out until early afternoon. When you find the chef of another high end restaurant eating in a diner, you’re probably on to a good thing.
Although the venue may be small, the menu is anything but, boasting some 120 items. The meat is prepared Tajik-style, which means that big cuts of meat like whole chicken, pork shoulder, or rounds of beef are simmered in broth overnight with vegetables and spices, making it delectably soft and flavourful. This meat is then used in many of the aforementioned 120 dishes, including curries, pastas and stir fries, although there is a very good selection of vegetarian options as well.
There is always fresh fish on the menu, as well as fresh home-made bread. Even the sausages and pastas are home-made. It all sounded so good, that I was somewhat stumped when it came to deciding on lunch. Fortunately you can rely on the staff to help you navigate the menu and find the perfect dish with very little fuss.
In my case, the perfect dish turned out to be a tuna ceviche. Although many people might view this as a starter, at Tim Buc Tuu a six-ounce piece of tuna is used to prepare it, which means that when it is combine with the salad and tortilla chips it is served with, it is perfect as a light lunch.
The presentation had a definite air of drama to it, with the tortilla chips lending the dish an almost sculptural quality. If the presentation gave the impression of a work of art, the ceviche itself just reinforced that. The tuna was buttery soft, with little bit of lemon juice, salt and pepper, a touch of ginger-garlic, and a splash of chilli-based sesame oil lending just enough additional taste while still allowing the fresh tuna to do most of the talking. Combined with the light, crunchy and spicy tortilla, it was heaven.
Having taken care of the diner part, it was time to explore the coffee shop side of the menu. With Lavazza coffee, a personal favourite, I decided on a latte, with just a little taste of the chocolate cake and the carrot cake. I had been warned by a fellow diner to steer clear of the chocolate cake, as it would have me coming back time and time again for more. Having ignored her advice, I must admit that she was right – it was dark, moist, and not too sweet… just perfect. Then again, the carrot cake was just as good, and from what I’ve been told the cheesecake is also to die for.
One small but important note – although Tim Buc Tuu does not have a liquor licence, you are free to bring your own booze. You have been warned, so don’t blame me if you pitch up without your favourite bevvie.
I might have found Tim Buc Tuu without too much of a struggle, but if you get stuck, or just need a bit more information, call 946-8000.